Aug 282013
 

Wildlife smuggler, Ousame Diallo, who has admitted to illegally trafficking 500 endangered chimpanzees out of the Republic of Guinea, was sentenced to a year in prison in the West African country reports WWF. The arrest and charge was supported by INTERPOL and to anti-wildlife trafficking local group, GALF.

“This time the result is excellent, we arrested one of biggest ape traffickers and we obtained one year in prison against him, the most severe penalty under Guinean law for this type of offense. It is a historic decision,” Charlotte Houpline, GALF Founder and Coordinator, said. Two of Diallo’s partners were also arrested and sentenced to a year in jail.

Chimp families will fight to the death to protect their young ones from poachers. © Kate Holt / WWF-UK

While a year in jail may not seem like much for trafficking hundreds of chimps, wildlife crime is largely treated as a minor offense in Africa, as it is in much of the world. Even when caught, traffickers rarely are convicted and even more rarely see jail time. However, as wildlife trafficking has turned into a global crisis, many governments are struggling to take a harder line against a practice that is decimating their wild lands. Experts also note that the global wildlife trade, estimated at $19 billion, is often connected to other organized criminal activities, such as the drug trade, human trafficking, weapons sales, and even terrorism.

Western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus), which is the subspecies found in Guinea, are currently listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. The great apes are imperiled deforestation, the bushmeat trade, and illegal trafficking for the pet trade as well as for some zoos and wildlife parks. Around 8,000 chimps are believed to survive in Guinea.

All international trade in great apes is illegal, but demand from zoos funds poaching. © Martin Harvey / WWF-Canon

“Poachers target young chimpanzees for the illegal pet trade, but their families will often fight to the death to protect them,” notes David Greer who manages WWF’s African Great Ape Programme. “For every baby that is exported alive another 10 chimps may have died. Infants often perish from the trauma of capture leading poachers to pursue yet another victim, and repeating time and again the tragic killing scenario.”

This article was written for Mongabay.com and re-posted on Focusing on Wildlife.

Share on social media:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

avatar
Christopher Wesley

This is terrible and we as conservationists applaud the work of GALP in Guinea. Bush meat trade is on the increase in Liberia.

wpDiscuz

Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should the cruel sport of bullfighting be banned? [1383 Views]
  2. Karma Strikes Again: Trophy Hunter Killed by Elephant [1120 Views]
  3. POLL: Should the Grizzly Bear be removed from the Endangered Species List? [1007 Views]
  4. POLL: Should all circuses with wild animals be closed down? [967 Views]
  5. ‘Kill them, kill them, kill them’: the volunteer army plotting to wipe out Britain’s grey squirrels [817 Views]
  6. $10,000 reward offered to find killer of famous Yellowstone white wolf [701 Views]
  7. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [626 Views]
  8. Elephants Can’t Wait to Meet New Rescued Baby at Sanctuary [617 Views]
  9. Heroic Boat Captain Rescues Entangled Great White Shark [614 Views]
  10. Live donkey fed to tigers in shareholder protest at Chinese zoo [587 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [42100 Views]
  2. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16884 Views]
  3. POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11134 Views]
  4. POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [10607 Views]
  5. POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8675 Views]
  6. POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8246 Views]
  7. POLL: Should China’s dog meat festival be banned? [7444 Views]
  8. POLL: Should the killing of giraffes be outlawed? [4685 Views]
  9. POLL: Should the slaughter of pilot whales in the Faroes be stopped? [4657 Views]
  10. POLL: Should Spain’s “Running of the Bulls” festival be banned? [4609 Views]